Thursday, February 07, 2019

Irritating Co-Workers

From: Dude, Dinosaur White
Sent: Thursday, February 7, 2019 1:09 PM
To: Scientist, Jenny F; Professor, A.Visiting Chemistry
Cc: Technician, Chemistry Lab; Chair, Department
Subject: Laboratory Room

[I have had to paraphrase extensively but I ASSURE you the original was just the same.]

I want to communicate to you how the conditions in our lab classroom have been changing, as we share it for the non-major lab courses.

Back when I was a Cub Scout, decades ago, I learned an adage about always leaving a place tidier and cleaner than I found it, which is a standard I, myself, have always rigorously enforced.  Today I went into lab an hour early and found a distressing amount of 'mess' [sic]. We can and must do better than this.   

I would never leave a lab in such a state and I am appalled that any of you would do so; it's outrageous to expect the next class to come into a lab in such a condition.  I always come early and stay late so I can make sure everything is maintained in acceptable conditions.  You need to make your students be accountable for keeping all the materials orderly and if they do not I expect you to clean it up yourselves.  

It is not the lab technician's job to clean up even though he does it sometimes.  The students are always moving things and it is your job to make sure they do not.

Please, let’s all try to work together a little more to make our work as agreeable as possible.

Thank you,


Hi Dinosaur Dude Co-Worker,

Let me edit that for you so it's more likely to meet with success:

"Hi!  I've noticed the lab in RoomNo is getting kind of messy.  How about next week we all pitch in and tidy it up?"


J.F. Scientist
[Also, fuck you.]

My spouse says my response is too snarky and I ought not to send it; he should have seen it BEFORE I took out four more sentences, including one about learning the Golden Rule in Sunday School decades ago.  Note that this is ANOTHER ADJUNCT NOT MY EFFING BOSS (I don't think I'll need to burn down my job over this but I HATE teaching this damn lab anyways.) I am PISSED at the presumption of some mediocre white dude thinking he gets to order around two other instructors because we're younger and female.  Burn. It. Down.


  1. I bet Dinosaur dude doesn't even realize how condescending and dictatorial he sounds. Your email would, indeed, be more likely to get a positive response.

    1. I was EXTREMELY TEMPTED to send him back a paraphrase of his whole damn email so HE could be extremely irritated about how inappropriate and condescending it sounded but the spouse thought it would pour napalm on the flames and he's not WRONG.

  2. Totally with you.

  3. I am so far beyond dealing with people like Dinosaur that I didn't even see your reply as snarky. It seemed positively (a) accurate and (b) diplomatic.

    1. I THOUGHT SO. You should have seen the one that paraphrased his whole damn email. Now THAT one was snarky...


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